Scanning Your Photo Archive

Since I went to digital photography almost 20 years ago I’ve found that I look at the pictures that are on the computer far more than the prints I have.  Therefore I’ve wanted to scan my old photo collection for several years now.  I knew that wanted to scan from negative where possible, but dedicated film scanners have been very expensive and the flatbeds that claim to scan negatives got very poor reviews.

The Scanner

That changed this year when I discovered the Epson V600 photo scanner.  The big difference is that there is a light in the lid that shines through the negative during scanning providing enough light through the film to do a proper scan.  Also with a flatbed, I can scan pictures that I only have the print of, mainly old family photos.  And best of all the price is just over $200.

My Goals

It is important to note that I am not disposing of my source material after I scan them.  If I ever want an enlargement made I will be going back to the negative and taking it to a professional facility.  My primary goal is to make my print picture collection more accessible and something I look at more often.  For viewing on a screen or making normal size prints this unit produces exactly what I am looking for.  So I’ve started digging through un-organized boxes of pictures and doing some scanning.  This identified another problem I need to solve, how to organize my digital life so I can actually find a picture that I’m looking for.  I have to do some more research in this area, but I’m thinking tagging will do it.

Why Scan From Negatives

There are 2 main reasons, first it is almost always best to go back to the original source material.  Second, the aspect ration of the print media rarely matches the film, so the film has more image than makes in on the print.  That means there are parts of the image that you are not seeing in the prints that will show up on the negative scan.